The Washington State Centennial Pioneer Certificate Program
was begun by the Washington State Genealogical Society (WSGS) in 1984 in anticipation of the state’s centennial admission to the union in 1889. The initial certificates were issued to applicants who could prove their ancestors were in Washington Territory prior to its admission to the Union on 11 Nov 1889. These descendants’ names, almost 18,000, were printed in a two-volume set of books entitled “Washington Pioneers” in 1992. A third volume, published in 1993, included Pioneers and First Citizens (those in the state on or before 31 Dec 1900). The three original volumes are out of print, but an index is available here
. WSGS members have access to family lineages in the Members' Only section of the website. The books may also be available in libraries or eBay.
Pioneer and First Citizen Certificates are still being issued, although they are published only on the WSGS website at this time. If you can prove your ancestor was in Washington prior to 11 Nov 1889, you may be eligible to purchase a Pioneer Certificate. If your ancestor was in Washington on or before 31 Dec 1900, you may be eligible to purchase a First Citizen Certificate. More information, including resources to prove residency, is available in the Pioneer and First Citizen Program brochure. An application and instructions are available here.